OK, hands up who’s tried a diet shake?
I’m not going to name any names, but we all know the ones right? Those wonder shakes proclaiming to help you lose weight, to keep you feeling full in order to stop you from eating rubbish and the ones disguised as delicious thick and creamy milkshakes in a bid to con your brain into thinking that you’re actually having a treat.
There is no question that these products work for some people; I’m sure we’ve all seen the adverts featuring before and after photos and the quotes about ‘such and such a shake has changed my life!’, but the idea that a drink can replace a meal doesn’t sit comfortably with me. I enjoy food way too much and the thought of having a meal that requires a straw, doesn’t involve me using me teeth and is over in seconds, fills me with a deep sadness.
So, and I’m going to be completely honest here, when some sachets of Purition wholefood protein shakes arrived at The Art of Healthy Living offices, I wasn’t exactly overjoyed at the prospect of reviewing them. However, as I read through the info, explored the website and scanned the ingredients list, I soon realised that I was very wrong to have prejudged and that in actual fact, Purition were approaching shakes from a whole different angle; one with nutrition in mind.
Leading nutritionist and author, Amanda Hilton, has been quoted as saying:
“If you can’t pronounce what it says on the label you shouldn’t be eating it in the first place”
and this is an ethos that Purition has stuck to. With 6 different flavours (Strawberry, Coconut, Chocolate, Pistachio, Almond and Macadamia & Vanilla) as well as a vegan hemp range, Purition wholefood shakes combine ‘real’ foods, such as:
- Nuts – almonds, pistachios, macadamias
- Seeds – chia, sunflower, flax, sesame, pumpkin
There’s nothing ending with -ose (so that rules out all those sugary nasties!) and there’s no weird chemical jargon, because what you get in each and every packet of Purition is pure and simple nutrition.
The powdered shakes need to be mixed up with milk, nut milk or yogurt to create a drink that acts as a meal replacement or as a pre-/post- workout snack. Containing just under 200 calories per 40g sachet, it’s understandable how replacing one of your meals with a Purition shake would result in weight loss, but the question still remains as to whether it really is that easy to replace a meal with a drink?
Take the Challenge!
Which, of course means I need to get my testing head on, rise to the challenge and see for myself whether it is possible for me to handle having a shake for breakfast or lunch instead of my usual meal. Now, at this point I should probably confess that I am an absolute cereal addict – I LOVE the stuff! So, the thought of replacing my usual morning bowl with something in a glass did send me close to the edge, but no for the sake of all our lovely Art of Healthy Living readers I was willing to forgo my delicious, homemade, nutty, oaty granola (see I really am nuts about cereal!).
I chose Macadamia & Vanilla as my breakfast shake, so whilst the other family members tucked into their breakfast, I whizzed up my Purition with some milk and poured it into a pretty glass; I even bunged a straw in, in the hope that it would a) make it last a bit longer and b) make me feel as though I had a very ‘special’ breakfast.
On to the important question…
What does it taste like?
The flavour is actually very subtle; slightly nutty, as one might obviously expect from macadamia, with a clean aftertaste. I personally think that what made more of an impact with me was the texture rather than the taste. The taste was pleasant enough, like I said it was very subtle, but certainly tasted natural and not in the remotest sense artificial, but the texture really surprised me. Looking back it should have been clear when I poured it into the glass; it kind of had a grainy appearance with rather a large froth on top, but I put that down to the fact I had used a hand blender and presumed it was bubbles.
The separating out and the grainy appearance through the glass are quite literally ‘the goodness’. They are the little seeds rising to the top, shouting out ‘look at us, we’re in here and we’re going to make you feel great’. And the result is that when you drink the shake, not only do you get the smoothness, but you also get a bit of a chew. Yes that’s right, you get to drink and eat it!
Now, that is what I am talking about!
I glugged down the whole glass and even got to use my straw to scoop out all the yummy goodness that had sunk to the bottom – delicious. OK so that wasn’t too bad; I didn’t feel as though I’d missed out on anything, I was certainly full and I felt raring to go.
Would this feeling last until lunchtime?
It’s usually around about 11ish that I start to get peckish; enough time has passed since breakfast, but it’s just too early to think abut lunch. What was I like, however, having had just a shake, albeit a nutritious, wholefood packed one, for my breakfast? Well, I’m not going to lie, it got to 11am and just like clockwork my body signalled ‘snack o’clock’. Hardly a failure for Purition, more a pre-programmed habit that my body knows what it likes and when it likes it. Plus, I am one of those people who suffer from the dreaded ‘Hanger’ (hungry anger) and if I don’t give my body what it needs, woe betide anyone that crosses my path!
Later that same week, I decided to use Purition as a bit of a workout aid. I had planned a workout for mid morning, but having got back from the school run already feeling hungry again, I thought a Purition shake would be just the thing to perk me up and give me a bit of energy. This time I went for the chocolate flavour, because who doesn’t like chocolate!?, and for me it felt as though I was being a bit naughty having something chocolaty at 9.30 in the morning! Shake consumed; it was yum, not too sweet and not too bitter like some chocolate products can be; I cracked on with some work for an hour to allow my body to digest it.
And what a result!
I felt great doing my workout; I had energy, I’m sure I put more effort in and I didn’t have that sluggish full feeling you can sometimes get if you’ve consumed food before exercising (even if you have allowed an hour for it to go down).
For me, I can definitely see myself drinking Purition shakes as part of my workout experience. It provided great, natural energy when I needed it and didn’t have me heading to the biscuit tin post workout, which has been known to happen in the past.
I get that some people will use Purition shakes as a weight loss tool; I think it’s absolutely fantastic that a product can contain such healthy, nutritional real food; but for me I just cannot replace my meals.
For those of you interested in finding out more about Purition as part of your weight loss journey, I would recommend visiting the Purition website where you can download an easy to follow meal plan and get advice on how often you should be drinking the shakes.
More than anything, I think it’s great that there is a product on the market that is so nutritionally sound and is low enough in calories that it can be used as a snack without any guilt factor associated with its consumption.
Purition is available to buy from the Purition website or you can also find it in Planet Organic, Wholefoods Market and many more independent stores across the UK.